Mpatlanyana’s initial fast-food franchise, Spykos Chisa Nyama, was initially very successful, but eventually ran into difficulties. “At one point we had 40 outlets around the country, but as the rent increased annually, the businesses struggled and we were forced to close down after operating for only four years,” he recalls.
In 2016, he identified a different business concept that would be sustainable, while simultaneously empowering black entrepreneurs in Mamelodi township in Pretoria, where he was raised: Nkukhu-Box, a fast-food franchise of grilled chicken embracing the kasi lifestyle and its best-loved flavours.
This time, building outlets from specially designed shipping containers make it a cost-effective and movable business model. “We look for neglected plots of land and track down either private owners or councils to negotiate deals. We then clean up the land, design the landscaping and set up our stores,” he explains.
So far, 10 franchises have been opened within a space of two years and about 12 more are under construction in Gauteng, Mpumalanga and Limpopo. Mpatlanyana aims to re-invest the resources generated by this franchise back into local communities.
“Most of our franchisors are people from the township. We’re planning to establish our brand footprint throughout the major townships in the country and then expand to countries like Zimbabwe, Botswana, Namibia and Zambia,” he says.